Wednesday, March 31, 2010

CSS April Stamp of the Month

Well, I've been patiently waiting for my Clear and Simple Stamps April DT package to arrive only to find out that there has been a shipping mix-up (once again!! I swear the USPS has it in for either CSS or myself) and my package was returned to CSS. ARRRGHH!! (Ok, I'll admit it - it's quite possible the mix-up was actually my own fault, but whatever. I'm saying most likely it was the USPS screwing things up as usual! LOL). Anyway, so I didn't get to play with the yummy new SOTM Rock-a-Bye stamps yet, but trust me - they are AWESOME - and I can. not. wait. to get my hands on that set!! (and don't forget to use the code CSS0410 to get $1 off your SOTM order this month!).

I did, however have a chance to play with Sue's fun new Rock-a-Bye template which coordinates perfectly with the Rock-a-Bye stamp set and makes the most adorable packaging for a sweet little baby gift (and is the perfect size to roll a little onesie into)!! Check it out:

I wanted to make a matching card, but I really thought my new goodies were going to arrive sometime in the past few days, so I put it off - too long it turns out and I didn't have a chance to whip anything up in time. I did use one of my favorite retro baby sets, Naptime, for a little sentiment tag for the gift.

In addition to the SOTM, CSS is featuring another fantastic Copic Trio Bundle this month - the Yellow Green Trio 2, which includes YG11, YG13, and YG17. AND they are releasing their first ever die - the CSS Label 1 die, which fits perfectly with the label in the new Rock-a-bye stamp set (you'll be seeing me use this thing LOTS in the future)! AND be sure to check out the entire line of new Green with Envy products (a new color in the CSS notions line-up) - Cardstock, buttons, ribbon, and ink. So many exciting new things in store at CSS this month!! And stay tuned - there's more to come later!! ;-)

And finally, my absolute FAVORITE thing about the April release? - the new Alpha Block I stamp set - this alpha set is SOOO cool! Be sure to check it out.

Sorry I don't have images of the stamp sets - I'm still having major computer issues and it's taken me almost an hour to get this far with this blog post. Please keep your fingers crossed that the new computer arrives soooooon!!! This is KILLING me!!

Finally, be sure to stop by the other DT blogs to see what they've done with the Sue's template and the new SOTM set!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

My "Green" Mini Album

I'm starting to think about those all-important Mother's Day Gifts. I normally make fun little mini albums and this year will be no exception. I've decided to go "Green" this year and I knocked one of the albums out this weekend with this fun little circle album made out of recycled old CDs. Recycled CD Albums are one of my favorite mini-albums to make - they're SUPER sturdy (translation: my 3-yr-old doesn't tear them up as easily as a chipboard or paper album), they're the perfect size for a fabulous little gift, AND there are lots of really cute circle ablum templates out there making them SUPER quick and easy!!

I'll go ahead and share all of my project photos with you, then give you all of the nitty gritty details:
For this album, I started out by gathering up a handful of old scratched up CDs and DVDs (I NEVER throw these out for this purpose) and sorting through my digi pics of Dean from the past year+. I went with all my fave photos from the past year (you've probably seen several of these photos on various projects this year). Next I needed to find the perfect digi kit to use. I went with the awesome All-Star kit by Kristin Cronin-Barrow (Sweet Shoppe). Just look at everything you get in this kit for just $6.99 (I'm betting for all those papers, ribbons, buttons, tags, chipboard pieces, alphas, and other embellishments in "real life" you would pay WELL over $40!!):

Next, I needed a template (yes, I could have designed my pages from scratch - but let's face it - I'm waaaay too lazy for that!! LOL). I decided to use the new CD Album 4: Stars by Janet Phillips (Sweet Shoppe). Take a look:

I simply "clipped" my papers, photos and embellishments onto the layered templates using my Clipping Mask Tool in Photoshop Elements, added some journaling with DJB Print font by Darcy Baldwin (Sweet Shoppe), then printed out the album pages at home onto some Matte double-sided presentation paper. I cut out the individual album pages and used Mod Podge to attach them to the front and back of my recycled CDs. I punched a hole in all of the CDs using my Crop-o-Dile and used a book binding ring to hold all of the pages together. I added some bits and scraps of leftover ribbon to the ring for added embellishment.
And there you have it! A very special "Green" keepsake photo Mother's Day Gift from start to finish in a single afternoon. How are you going "Green" this Spring?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

12 Designers, 12 Amazing Projects, 5 Winners

The Papercraft Planet Supernovas are crazy for Spellbinders and we're having a Blog Hop to show off the new Summer Dies! Hop along with us and leave us some love and you could end up winning one of the new sets! We've hidden FIVE prizes among the Supernovas' blogs, but no one knows which ones! Keep reading for more details...

I was excited to receive the new Surf's Up Shapeabilities set to play with - very appropriate for a Maui girl, yeah? Take a look at this quick and easy hybrid card I created using the fun surfboard die in the set:

I cut and embossed the surfboard 3 times, hand-cutting the embossed hibiscus image to paper piece for a cool effect. Of course, I could have used the die as a stencil instead, but I really wanted to paper piece that board with the printed digi papers I used on the rest of the card from the Jen & Dean kit by Libby Weifenbach from Sweet Shoppe Designs (the kit Libby designed using my son Dean's cool surfer boy bedroom as inspiration)!! :-) The stamped sentiment is from the Summer Sand set by Clear and Simple Stamps, the PERFECT stamp set to complement this set of dies!! I added some zig-zag stitching and some brown hemp twine as finishing touches and it was done! Be sure to check out the entire Surf's Up set of dies - in addition to this fun surfboard, it includes a pair of slippers (flip flops to those of you not in Hawaii! LOL), a beach ball and a beach umbrella).

So, back to those prizes. Like I said, FIVE lucky people will win one of the new Spellbinders Summer Die sets (US residents only - sorry, Spellbinders doesn't ship overseas). To be entered, just leave a comment on one or all of the Supernova blogs. The more blogs you comment on, the better your chances of winning. Blog comments will be open until Wednesday at 6pm EST. The lucky winners will be announced on the Paper Craft Planet blog on Wednesday night.

Our Blog Hoppers are:

Spellbinders Paper Arts

Check out our gallery to see all the projects in one place!

Sweet Sunday Sketch: FAIL

Hi there! If you're here for my Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge card, you'll be sorely disappointed. I have nothing to share this week. My poor, old, sad computer is dying a slow and agonizing death. I'd go ahead and put her out of her misery, but I'm (not so) patiently waiting for my new (totally freaking AWESOME) computer to arrive any day now. So I need to keep this one limping along as long as possible. But it's painful. I won't go into all the gory details, but I often can't get images from my camera, I can't get Photoshop to open about 75% of the time, and about 90% of my time on there is spent swearing loudly while waiting for SOMETHING (oh please for cripe's sake ANYTHING) to happen and just let the screen change already. (and it REALLY annoys my husband that I seem to think that banging the mouse a couple of times real quick-like on the desk might suddenly magically make things work again. So far that doesn't seem to be working though. But it's not for a lack of trying, let me assure you!!). Anyway, just wanted to let you know that my blogging may be somewhat limited for the next week or 2 while I play the waiting game with the UPS man. Not to worry, there are a few things already scheduled to post so I won't disappear completely (provided Blogger cooperates). But keep your fingers crossed the computer arrives SOOOOOOOOON!!! Thanks!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Verve Project Parade

The Fun with Flowers Project Parade kicked off over on the Verve Blog yesterday and I'm up today. I created this fun little birthday gift set for my friend and co-worker, Sue:

For more photos and all the details, head on over to today's post on the Verve Blog. And then be sure to play along with us this month for a chance to win a $25 Verve gift certificate by linking us up to your own Fun with Flowers themed project over on the Day One post. And leave some love for the Divas each day of the parade - One lucky commenter during the parade will win his / her choice of any Verve stamp set!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sweet Sunday Sketch #61

Happy Sunday!! I know - already!?!? Karen has another fabulous Sweet Sunday Sketch Challenge for us this week (head on over to today's post on her blog to play along) and for the rest of March the Sweet Sunday Stampers have a guest playing along with us - the amazing Joanne Basile!!! Take a look at this week's sketch:

I had a lot of fun with this one and I'm sure I'll be using the sketch many more times in the future! I created another hybrid card this week with some fun printed digi papers:

I fell back on one of my old favorite stamp sets, Get in Gear from Clear and Simple Stamps. It's one of the best stamps for creating super cute boy cards!! I colored the three individual robot images with Copics to match the printed digi papers from the Brotherly Love kit by Kristin Cronin-Barrow and Meghan Mullens (Sweet Shoppe), using YR14, R29 and BG05. I added some Chocolate Chip ribbon and a large silver brad to finish the card and it was done! So what do you think? Will it work for a 5-yr-old birthday boy?

be sure to stop by the other Sweet Sunday Stampers' blogs to see what they've done with the sketch...
Then play along with us and post your own creation using InLinkz over on today's post on Karen's Blog!

Well, that's it for me today! We're headed out early this morning to visit my Dad, who's had a rough week with some new behavioral issues and a change in medications. We've decided to stop some of the Alzheimer's drugs as they're very expensive and at this time when he's in the late, "severe" stage of the disease anyway it's kind of like what's the point? We certainly don't want to prolong this and honestly I don't think anything is helping. The new behavioral problems started just before the change in meds, so we've also decided to start some heavier-duty drugs to address that problem. Unfortunately, now he's refusing to take his meds - {sigh}. But on a happier note, after dealing with that, we're headed to the beach for some fun family time in the sun, sand and surf!! So I hope everyone else enjoys the rest of their weekend as well!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Floral SFYTT

Ok, I have to admit (and this doesn't happen very often), but I absolutely LOVE the way this card turned out!!! And honestly, I wasn't too keen on Jen's SFYTT sketch this week. It looked a little wonky to me in the sketch drawing (but of course, Jen's sample and the other DT girls' samples were fab as usual - I just had no idea what I would do with the damn thing). But I sat and stared at it for a few days and then on Monday evening I printed out some digi papers from Zoe Pearn's new Note to Self kit - which just might be my new favorite Zoe kit EVER!! - and pulled out one of my old favorite Verve sets, Petals and Stems, and just started playing around. Here's what I ended up with:

See? Pretty cool, huh? Thanks to my good friend Michelle, who finally pointed me in the right direction to Dawn's tutorial on how to make those fun poofy flowers that everyone's been doing lately (I'm always late to figure that stuff out! LOL). The flowers are slightly big for the stems, but I think it still works, right?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sweet Sunday Sketch #60

Here we are...already Sweet Sunday Sketch #60!?!? WOW! I have to admit, I was a little nervous about this sketch. Those flowers had me all intimidated! And yes, I knew they didn't REALLY have to be flowers, but still....I'm not much of an embellishment kind of girl, so I had to do some serious thinking about this one:

But then it came to me as I was digging through my pile of stamps that were in need of some love. And look!! I actually DID make them flowers!!

I'm really happy with how this turned out. I got to play with some new paper that arrived in the mail the other day, the Ducks in a Row collection from October Afternoon. And I got my Blooming Button Bits stamp set (PTI) inky for the 2nd time ever. I inked up the trio of flowers three times, in SU's barely banana, Regal Rose and Pretty in Pink - then cut one flower out of each color. I added a PTI button to the center of each and popped them up on dimensionals. AND, I have one of 4 Mother's Day cards I'll need this year done WAY ahead of time!! (that NEVER happens, so BONUS!).

be sure to stop by the other Sweet Sunday Stampers' blogs to see what they've done with the sketch...
Karen M. and Nancy are both sitting out this week, but their blogs are so full of wonderful inspiration I went ahead and linked them up anyway. If you're anything like me, you'll probably find at least SOMETHING there to kickstart your MoJo!! :-)

Then play along with us and post your own creation using InLinkz over on Karen's Blog!

Have a great week!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

CSS iPhone App

If you were at Winter CHA, you may have already heard the buzz about this. But today it's official!!

Features of the Clear and Simple Stamps app include:
- New, Daily Projects
- Step-by-step directions
- Ability to buy direct from the store on your mobile device
- Bonus downloads and sneak peeks only available on the iphone

Also, CSS will be accepting submissions for the iPhone app! Just like you would for a magazine, you can now submit for publication and be seen around the world in an instant on the CSS app! More details HERE on the CSS blog.

Special World on Aloha Friday

Happy Aloha Friday!!

So how much Verve did you guys order last week?? Pretty fabulous release huh? One of my favorite new sets is Feel the Sun. Julee's done it again with another beautiful set of flowers and sentiments!! Here's a quick card I created with a Copic-colored version of the largest flower in the set:

What's in it:
Stamps: Feel the Sun (Verve)
Paper: Kraft, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla CS (SU); Sonoma DP (Scenic Route)
Ink: Momento Rich Cocoa (Tsukineko); Copic Markers
Accessories: Chocolate Chip ribbon, dimensionals (SU); Stickles

I'm soooo bummed that Scenic Route is going out of business. They are one of my favorite paper companies. But not to worry. I nearly broke the bank yesterday and stocked up on all my fave collections in their liquidation sale online. I'm sure you'll get tired of seeing Scenic Route papers from me long after they're officially closed! LOL.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge #103

It's been MONTHS since I had a chance to play along with one of Taylor's sketch challenges, but I had some free time yesterday, so...I played with Sketch Challenge #103!! YAY! I am pressed for time this morning and have to get to work, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. You can check out the sketch HERE on Taylor's blog. But here's a look at my card:

I had SO much trouble getting a decent photo of this card for some reason and finally gave up. I don't know what the deal was. I don't know if it's the combination of colors in the card or what. Because my lighting just happened to be perfect for once, but I literally took like 20 photos and tried EVERYTHING and that was the best I could do, even with some major editing in Photoshop. I'm starting to think there may be something wrong with my digital SLR camera, which is super depressing. Oh well.

Anyway, I used the super fun The Places You'll Go stamp set from TE along with the old Key Ingredients kit (I think it was also called The Places You'll Go??). I colored the image with the Copics below:

And that's it. I'm off to work. I'll be back this weekend with more stuff to share. Have a good end to your week!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hybrid Cardmaking Tutorial

Hey there! Today I'm hosting the Hot 4 Hybrid blog post over on the Sweet Shoppe Blog and I decided (at the request of several Sweet Shoppe community members) to let everyone have a step-by-step glimpse into my hybrid design process - from start to finish. If you'd like to see how I go about creating a hybrid card using digital scrapbooking kits (you may have noticed that I use a TON of printed digi papers on my projects), head on over to Today's Post on the Sweet Shoppe blog. You'll see a step-by-step tutorial on how I made this hybrid card featuring printed digital papers and alpha from Melissa Bennett's Winky Dink kit:

I've included cropped screen shots of the digital part of the process using Photoshop Elements, which is the software I use for both my hybrid projects and digital scrapbooking, as well as tips for printing your digital goodies to get the best color vibrancy for your hybrid projects and cards. I kept the tutorial super basic, so if you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I just realized that I accidentally published a post here that was intended for my family blog, The Tapler Ohana. SORRY!! I'm sure most of you aren't really interested in the mundane things my 3-yr-old does on a daily basis and in watching a 5-minute-video of a game he made up with little palm tree seed things he calls "cloons"!! LOL. I've deleted the post from my Designs blog and moved it to the family blog, but it will probably still show up in Google Reader. Feel free to ignore it and just humor me and give me a break - keep in mind I am the frazzled mother of a rowdy 3-yr-old ball of energy!!! :-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sweet Sunday Sketch #59

It's that time again!! Yep, the weeks are flying by for me too!! Here's a look at this week's Sweet Sunday Sketch #59, which you can play along with over on Karen's Blog:

I decided to make a fun St. Patty's Day Card using some SUPER old retired SU papers and my new SU I {heart} Hearts set. I can't remember exactly where I got the idea for making a clover out of stamped hearts, but I definitely didn't come up with it myself. It was either from my fellow Sweet Sunday Stamper Nancy Riley or maybe Mary Fish over a year ago I think. One of those amazingly talented Stampin' Up ladies anyway. Here's a look at my card:

I took some creative liberty with the sketch, replacing the square image layer with a circle, just because it looked better to me with the clover. I'm sorry I have NO IDEA what the name of the retired papers are that I used, but they're old. I added a brown PTI button to the center of the clover and hand-cut the stem. The sentiment is from another much-neglected SU set, Teeny Tiny Wishes. See? I'm really sticking to my resolution to use these weekly sketches as a way to dig into my stash and get some of my neglected stamp sets inky AND this week I'm even using up some of my old paper!! YAY!

be sure to stop by the other Sweet Sunday Stampers' blogs to see what they've done with the sketch...
Then play along with us and post your creation using InLinkz over on Karen's Blog!

I can't wait to see what you do with the sketch!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Fling Blog Hop

After a fabulous day of sneak peeks, challenges and set reveals, we’re topping off our Spring Fling Blog Party with a blog hop featuring the four new sets and five plain janes that just released from Verve. If you arrived here by way of Jen del Muro’s blog, then you’re on the right track, if you just happened along, be sure to head back to Julee’s blog for the start of the hop.

And to celebrate our new release, we’ve got a very special treat hidden along the hop. One lucky commenter will win our entire release! So as you’re hopping along, be sure to give a little shout out in the comments if you see something that makes you smile. The lucky winner will be announced Tuesday evening, {March 10} on the Verve Blog.

One of my favorite sets of this new release is Let it Shine - so many fun, happy images and sentiments!!

I created this cheerful card using one of the floral images from the set, colored with Copics. I then made a 3-D "frame" for the images by punching out circles from a piece of textured Old Olive CS and then popping that layer up on dimensionals on top of the image layer. (this idea was inspired by Kristina Werner). I took the colors from the Scenic Route DP and added some white twill ribbon to the top and was done!

Thanks for hopping by! Next up on the hop is Diva Mercy Kerin!

And in case you get distracted or there’s a hiccup in the chain, head on over to the Verve Blog for the full list of hops.

Big Wish Sneak Peek

I'm back with a little Sneaky Peeky of the new Verve set Big Wish!! This set of 14 stamps includes 13 FABULOUS birthday themed sentiments in almost as many different fonts - and we all know that Julee is famous for the fabulous-ness of her fonts!! ;-) There's also a really cool birthday image in the set (head over to the Big Wish Sneak Peek post on the Verve Blog to see what fellow Diva Michelle did with the image - it's stunning!!). Bold
I was in need of a card for an 8-yr-old girl and came up with this hybrid thing...

I used the "Enjoy your day" sentiment from the new Big Wish set (I'm serious when I say the hardest thing about this card was deciding which sentiment to use!) and stamped directly onto some of this yummy printed digi paper from the Cottontail kit by Libby Weifenbach (Sweet Shoppe). I added some Old Olive ribbon and a glittered up chipboard 8 for accent. I glittered my 8 using the Glazed Glitter Technique I learned from fellow diva Jen del Muro. Although mine doesn't look as good as hers - I have to admit that this was the first time I had EVER used that Crystal Effects stuff (I'm tellin' ya, I'm so NOT a technique girl! - this is about as complicated as I get! LOL).

Don't forget to stop by the Verve Blog throughout the day today. It's Release Day and Julee and the Divas have a full day of Sneak Peeks and Challenges lined up all day today and we're finishing it off with a live chat in the Verve Forum over at SCS at 9:00 pm Eastern Time, followed by a Blog Hop!!

The Spring Fling Has Begun!!

That's Right!! Verve Stamps' Spring Fling celebration is in full swing over on the Verve Blog! It's Release Day and Julee and the Divas have a full day of Sneak Peeks and Challenges lined up all day today and we're finishing it off with a live chat in the Verve Forum over at SCS at 9:00 pm Eastern Time, followed by a Blog Hop!! As always, there are lots of amazing Verve goodies up for grabs, so be sure to spend lots of time over on the Verve Blog throughout the day today!! I'll be back in a few hours (and a few more times today) with a special Sneak Peek of a fabulous new Verve-alicious set, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SFYTT catch-up

ACCCK! I think I'm just BARELY getting this in before the deadline. I had this scheduled to publish this morning - or at least I THOUGHT I did - but it didn't publish, so I'm shoving it on through tonight. Glad I checked!!

So here I am catching up with my Sketch For You To Try cards - I'll be sharing 2 of my cards with you on this post - between February feeling like it was just crazy busy and then all the Tsunami madness, I'm still playing catch-up, so forgive me for overloading these in a single post!! Anyway, here they are:

This first one is for the Feb 20 sketch, which I struggled with initially - all those squares threw me for a loop!! This is the card that inspired my Sweet Sunday Sketch card for this week as well (I actually had this card completed first, but had to post the other one first!). Anyway, it's a hybrid card using printed digi papers from the Own It digi kit by Lauren Grier and Shawna Clingerman (Sweet Shoppe) as well as the Verve stamp sets Seeing Stars and Bountiful Backgrounds.

This second card uses the Feb 27 Sketch and is another hybrid creation, this time a special appreciation card for Dean's preschool teacher. I used printed digi papers and embellishments from It's Elementary by Dani Mogstad (Sweet Shoppe) and the Teacher's Apple stamp set from PTI.

Well, that's it from me today! I'm so glad tomorrow is Wednesday (one of my days off work during the week)!! I have a full day of cleaning, laundry, and visiting my Dad planned - and I'm hoping to get some stamping time in there somewhere!!! :-)